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Giant Step Backwards

By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 26th, 2005
New CB Ty Law had a very uneventful NY Jets debut. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
New CB Ty Law had a very uneventful NY Jets debut. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The Jets showed that they still have a lot of work to do before opening day as the offense struggled in a 15-14 loss to the Giants at the Meadowlands tonight. The loss ended the Jets nine-game preseason winning streak over the Giants.

In typical preseason fashion, the teams combined for eight turnovers and 13 penalties.

“I left this game concerned with how we played,” Jets head coach Herman Edwards said. “Can’t turn it over like that. You kill drives turning it over.”

After a strong performance last week, QB Chad Pennington was not able to follow up on it, completing just five of 11 passes for 36 yards. He also turned the ball over three times, throwing two interceptions in the red zone and fumbling the ball.

“He tried to force some things,” Edwards said of Pennington. “He’ll learn from it. It’s good for him. He’s harder on himself than anyone else.”

While the secondary showed improvement from the first two preseason games, limiting QB Tim Hasselbeck to 85 yards passing, it’s tough to judge since Hasselbeck was subbing for the injured Eli Manning.

The Jets defense recovered two fumbles in the end zone for the two Jets scores.

Jay Feely was the star of the night for the Giants, making all five of his field goal attempts including the 33-yard game winner with 7:48 left in the game.

Behind Hasselbeck, the Giants moved the ball down to the Jets 35-yard line on their first possession before Feely kicked a 52-yard field goal to give the Giants an early 3-0 lead. CB Ty Law playing in his first game with the Jets was tested early and struggled as WR Plaxico Burress beat Law twice.

RB Curtis Martin looked sharp on the Jets first drive, carrying five times for 41 yards. Martin finished with 59 yards on 13 touches. But on 3rd-and-3 from the Giants 10, Pennington’s pass for WR Laveranues Coles on a post route was intercepted by Corey Webster. On the Jets next drive, Pennington double clutched and was hit by DE Michael Strahan knocking the ball loose. LB Antonio Pierce recovered the fumble. The Giants were able to get three points off the turnover as Feely nailed a 21-yarder to give his team a 6-0 lead.

After the Jets went three-and-out on their next possession, the Jets defense came up big as DT Dewayne Robertson recovered Hasselbeck’s fumble.

The Jets took over at the Giants 25-yard line and on third-and-five from the Giants 20, Pennington’s pass for Coles went incomplete. But Giants CB Will Allen was flagged for defensive pass interference giving the Jets a new set of downs at the Giants 1.

The Jets could not take advantage of the opportunity as Pennington’s play-action pass intended for TE Chris Baker was intercepted by Strahan, who made the mistake of running it out of the end zone and was tackled at the 1.

On the next play, RB Mike Cloud ran into Hasselbeck trying to take the hand off in the end zone. The ball came loose and DE Bryan Thomas jumped on it for the touchdown. K Mike Nugent’s extra point split the uprights to give the Jets a 7-6 lead.

The Giants pinned the Jets deep after not being able to come up with a first down. The Jets played it safe with less than a minute remaining in the half, running the ball three straight times with the Giants calling a timeout after every play.

After Graham’s 49 yard punt, the Giants had 23 seconds left until halftime. Hasselbeck connected with WR David Tyree for a first down and with time winding down, Feely made a 54-yard field goal to put the Giants up 9-7 going into the locker rooms.

On the Giants first series of the second half, LB Eric Barton intercepted Hasselbeck’s pass. But as was the story of the game, the offense was unable to do anything and went three-and-out. It was the last series of the game for Pennington.

The Jets defense came up big again a little later as QB Jesse Palmer’s pitch for RB Derrick Ward from his own 7 went behind Ward and into the end zone where backup LB Ryan Myers leaped on it for the touchdown. Nugent again nailed the extra point, giving the Jets a 14-9 lead.

Palmer drove his team down the field on an 11-play, 56 yard drive that lasted just under five minutes and was capped off by Feely’s 35-yard field goal, pulling the Giants within two at 14-12.

After Feely’s field goal gave the Giants a 15-14 lead with 7:48 left, the Jets offense went three-and-out. But they caught a break as Octavius Cash fumbled the punt and WR Eddie Jackson recovered at the Giants 33.

Again, QB Brooks Bollinger and the offense could do nothing as he was sacked by DE Justin Tuck twice to push the Jets out of field goal range.

The Jets got one last chance with 1:50 left in the game but on 4th-and-10, Bollinger’s pass for WR Carl Kearney fell incomplete, ending the Jets hope of a comeback.

While the Jets still have one preseason game left at Philadelphia on Thursday, the starters will not play much in that game. The focus of the coaching staff over the next few days will be cutting down the roster to 65 players by Tuesday afternoon. Then the attention will be focused on making sure everyone is ready for Sept. 11 in Kansas City.

INSIDER TIDBITS

-It would appear that Ben Graham has won the punting battle between him and Micah Knorr. Graham had six punts for an average of 42.8 yards and a long of 49 while Knorr only had two punts for an average of 40 yards and a long of 40.

-Oliver Celestin started at strong safety but rookie Kerry Rhodes saw a lot of playing time as well. It will be tough to name a starter as Celestin finished with seven tackles and two pass defensed while Rhodes had five tackles, one pass defensed and a sack on Palmer.

-LB Jonathan Vilma led the defense with eight tackles.

-The Jets were just 2-13 on third downs.

-WR Chas Gessner continued to hurt his chances of making the team, dropping a ball on the Jets last drive of the game.

-Rookie CB Justin Miller returned one punt for six yards and two kicks for 43 yards.

-QB Kevin Eakin, WR Brock Ralph, newly signed LB James Kinney, and G Michael King did not play.

GAME PICTURES: For over 75 Jets Insider.com Exclusive Jets/Giants pictures, CLICK HERE

INJURY REPORT

Edwards said rookie S Andre Maddox tore ligaments in his right knee and DT Dewayne Robertson fractured his right hand. Robertson’s injury is similar to C Kevin Mawae’s last year in which Mawae was able to continue to play with a club on his hand. “It’s not nothing that’s going to slow me down,” Robertson said. “I’m going to play.” Backup QB Jay Fiedler had ice on his hand on the sideline but Edwards said he is fine and was not on his injury report.

-WR Harry Williams, Jr. (knee): Out 2-5 weeks
-FB Jerald Sowell (ribs): Out
-RB Cedric Houston (shoulder): Out
-S Andre Maddox (knee): Out
-DT Dewayne Robertson (hand): Day-to-Day

Now that training camp is over, the Jets begin their regular season schedule and have a practice scheduled for Sunday. Check back to Jets Insider.com for all the latest news.

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